Is it just me or has spring come early this year? Last weekend, I loaded up on the prettiest brightly colored vegetables to put together a gorgeous yet easy wine party crudité appetizer spread.
Two things always intimidate me about putting together party food: 1: Spending tons of time (and tons of money) putting together a guest-worthy spread, and 2: Picking out great wine. So today I have some tips for both…
Let’s start with the wine (always my favorite place to start). We’ve partnered with WineSimple, which is my new favorite way to choose wine because they choose it for you! You start by filling out a fun little quiz and then they send you three bottles of wine that fit your specific taste. The questions are things like: “How do you like your coffee? Which ice cream flavors taste best?” and “Do you like olives?”
I was so excited to try the wines that were chosen for me – I was skeptical, but the wines they sent were SPOT ON. I liked that they sent varieties that I’d never heard of, yet I loved them all (this Domaine de Figueirasse rose is so perfect for spring). The wines are well priced and sourced from high quality boutique wineries that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. If you’re like me, the girl who stands in the liquor store choosing wines based on the “cuteness” of their labels, you should give WineSimple a go.
For this (healthier!) appetizer crudité platter, I started where I often do: at the farmers market. I chose the produce that caught my eye that day, which was a variety of colorful carrots, radishes (especially watermelon radishes, they’re so pretty!), and green cauliflower.
I made two simple veggie dips – spinach hempseed pesto and a white bean dill dip. Both are rich, yet fresh… perfect for crisp spring vegetables and wine. Make them in advance and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
When it comes to cheese, I like to keep it simple by choosing just two – one soft cheese like brie, and one hard cheese like white cheddar or manchego.
I finished my platter with some extra sweet and savory (store-bought) snacks – my favorite items include tamari roasted almonds, dried cranberries, slices of whole wheat pita, and a splurge on some fancy crackers (pictured at the top of this post: salty date and almond Raincoast Crisps).
To get your wine party started, WineSimple is offering a 20% discount to Love & Lemons readers! Use the code LLVIP20 at checkout! Unlike other clubs, you can get your wines sent as often as you want with no specific monthly or year commitment. I hope you love it as much as I do – cheers!
- ½ cup hemp seeds
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1 small garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup loose packed fresh dill
- green cauliflower or romanesco
- variety of radishes (including watermelon radishes), sliced
- carrots, sliced in halves or quarters
- brie wedges & sliced white cheddar or manchego cheese
- tamari almonds
- dried cranberries
- 1-2 whole wheat pitas, sliced into strips
- fancy crackers (pictured: salty date & almond Raincoast Crisps)
- variety of wines!
- In a food processor, blend together the hemp seeds, garlic, spinach, lemon juice olive oil, and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Scoop the pesto into a jar and chill until ready to use.
- Using the same food processor (no need to clean it in after the pesto), blend together the cannellini beans, olive oil, lemon juice, water, garlic, and salt. Puree until creamy, then add the dill and blend until incorporated. Chill until ready to use.
- Assemble the platter with seasonal vegetables, nuts, cheeses, dried fruits and the dips. Serve with wine. Cheers!
Special thanks to WineSimple for sponsoring this post!